Boomerang. The Men of Fifth World | Tribes – Planet Doc Full Documentaries


Hunting and war have always been men’s work, and they have always made their own weapons. Without a doubt, the boomerang is the best known of these. They are pieces of wood carved with a slight curve, which makes them more accurate when they are thrown. The heavier they are, the more effective they will be in bringing down prey. Our most expert hunters are capable of hitting an animal from over 160 metres. Normally, they hunt small animals, though the most sought-after prey, which brings the hunter the greatest prestige, is the red kangaroo, the biggest of all. Despite what most people think, a real boomerang does not come back. The tourist and souvenir industry has invented devices decorated with designs from our culture, which they sell as if they were authentic boomerangs. These do come back, after describing spectacular curves in the air, but for us they have no value, they are no good to hunt with or anything. The efficiency of the boomerang comes exclusively from its weight and the curvature, which makes it easier to handle. But the boomerang is not our only weapon. In the jungle, we cut flexible rods of bougainvillea, with which we make spears and harpoons for fishing. In fact, the spear is our best weapon. We used them in our fight against the white men who invaded our country and drove us off the land that belonged to us. Once outside the forest, we make a fire and heat the flexible rods to harden them. Then, we remove the bark and cut them to the right size for each man. We have had to defend our country since the white man set foot in it. According to them, our land was called Terra Australis Incognita, until in 1605 the first European arrived, the Spaniard Fernández de Quirós, who called it Australia del Espíritu Santo. Then, 170 years later, the pirate James Cook renamed in New South Wales and raised the English flag. The English used this island to send us their prisoners. 80 years after the first ones arrived, there were 170,000 convicts in Australia but the worst came in the middle of the nineteenth century, when they discovered gold in our territory. It was then that we really began to get in their way. The aborigines, as they started to call us, were captured, confined to distant regions, and finally infected with many diseases, such as the flu, which devastated our population. During all this time we bravely fought the invaders with our spears, but the white man had gunpowder and rifles, and in the end they defeated us. Today our spears claim other victims. When the tide goes out, we fish for the dangerous sting rays that hide in the sand ready to plunge their enormous stings into anyone who dares disturb them. It takes practice to find them hidden in the sand and not stand on them. Their stings are very painful, but our fishermen are almost never caught by surprise. They launch their harpoons into them from a distance. When they have caught them, they hold the tail with their mouth and pull out the poisonous sting. After pulling off the skin and gutting them, we pound and knead the flesh with our hands, and eat it raw. It’s a real delicacy.

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